Bill slated by adoptees
and birth parents
By Conall O Fátharta
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
THE newly passed
Adoption Bill has been heavily criticised for failing to include
information and tracing rights for more than 42,000 adopted people and
legislation, which passed through all Houses of the Oireachtas last
week, ensures Irish laws comply with the Hague Convention on
The legislation was widely welcomed by groups representing people
seeking to adopt from abroad.
However, groups representing adopted people and birth parents have
expressed their disappointment that information and tracing rights
promised since 1999 have been omitted from the legislation.
Susan Lohan of the Adoption Rights Alliance said while the
implementation of the Hague Convention is to be welcomed, the bill
ignores the highly significant area of information and tracing rights
and services for 42,000-plus adopted people and their extended families
"It has no provisions for adopted people to have the right to know
they are adopted. It is not child-centred, as the minister says. It is
about making child procurement from a range of different countries
easier for prospective adoptive parents. It merely pays lip-service to
the phrase: ‘in the best interests of the child’," she said.
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Barry Andrews said he intended
to bring in a separate piece of legislation to the current Adoption Bill
dealing with the issue of tracing and information rights for adopted
people and birth parents. However, the Office of the Minister for
Children offered no timeframe as to when such legislation will be
Chairwoman of Adoption Loss – The Natural Parents’ Network, Bernie
Harold, said she was "angry and disappointed" at the lack of
information and tracing rights in the legislation.
"The traumatic impact on natural parents of the loss of their
children to a closed adoption system is immense. Further, adopted people
should have the right to know they are adopted and all parties should
have access to support and counselling services," she said.
Chairman of the International Adoption Association, Brian O’Callaghan,
said Mr Andrews was to be "congratulated" for introducing the
legislation which allows applicants already approved to complete their
adoption under the provisions of the Adoption Act 1991.
here to return to the news page